Covid-19 Update Friday 20 March Treasurer's update
Published 21:38 on 20 Mar 2020
Covid-19 Update Friday 20 March
The serious question of individual member financial hardship that may arise from the Covid-19 crisis was raised on the Club's Members and Friends Facebook page this afternoon. Where such cases arise the Finance Committee will lend a sympathetic ear on a strictly confidential basis. Those members for whom this may be a concern can contact the Commodore, Paul O'Hara in strict confidence.
On broader note: The Club does no more than hold funds on behalf of its members who provide the funding necessary to keep our Club alive by paying fees and subscriptions. To all intents and purposes members are the owners of the Club and its assets and they also partner in its running. This is why membership is fundamentally different to being a customer. This Club is not a commercial organisation owned by others that sells services to members in return for their membership fees. The cost of any fee refunds would inevitably be borne by the Club's entire membership, and could have serious financial implications for the Club. (Also, the Clubs' constitution, while allowing payments of annual membership by instalments does not allow for pay as you go or month by month memberships).
It's early days and we cannot yet tell how long the Covid-19 crisis will last and its impact on the Club this year. We can reasonably expect however that visitor, open meeting and sailing school revenue could drop significantly. In 2019 these sources contributed a surplus (income less direct costs) equivalent to £114 per Club membership. Any shortfall in this surplus in 2020 will have to be borne from Members' funds. Also, the Club has unavoidable loan repayments that amount to over £162 pa per Club membership and many of its overheads such as insurance are "fixed" - meaning that they are incurred regardless of whether the Clubhouse is open or events are organised.
However, the Hon. Treasurer is confident that on the basis of current membership fee stream, the Club will have the cash reserves in 2020 to continue to make loan repayments, pay overheads, absorb the potential loss of income from non-members, and still retain a flood recovery reserve. But this secure position would be endangered if Club were to find itself returning funds by making widespread member fee refunds. Because we are club we are not and cannot be, insured against deciding to return funds to ourselves.
We are facing an precedented situation but one that will pass. The Club is where it is today because of the support and contribution of its members over the past 61 years, which will be particularly important in the coming months. I am confident that despite the personal risks and challenges that we face as individuals we will continue to support one another and the Club, which will be stronger than ever. If you have any comments or concerns please let me know and I will do my best to help you.
Last updated 09:45 on 29 May 2020